Crawfish and Eggs


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This may not be your idea of breakfast, but it's a famous brunch dish served at Commander's Palace in New Orleans.

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  • 1/4 C. butter
  • 1 white onion, pared, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. crawfish meat, chopped
  • 1 lb. crawfish meat, whole
  • 1/2 C. green onions, chopped
  • 1/8 C. Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/8 C. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 oz. Romano cheese
  • 1/2 lb. bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, as needed
  • Egg wash, as needed seasoned bread crumbs, as needed oil, as needed
  • 12 eggs, poached to desired firmness
  • Crawfish Sauce:
  • 2 lb. fresh live crawfish
  • 1/2 C. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, pared and cut in quarters
  • 2 carrots, pared, sliced
  • 1 leek, 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 3 C. dry white wine
  • 1 C. bourbon
  • 1/2 C. tomato paste
  • 1/4 C. Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 C. heavy cream

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Melt butter in a large skillet and add white onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Sauté until transparent. Add crawfish meat and green onion, and sauté for 10 minutes. Add hot sauce and Worcestershire and continue to sauté for 10 minutes more.

Add eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove cooked contents of pan and refrigerate until thoroughly cooled. Form into small patties. Dredge patties in seasoned flour; dip in egg wash and roll in bread crumbs. Pour oil in skillet to depth of ½ inch. Heat to 325 degrees. Brown crawfish cakes until crisp on both sides. Top 2 crawfish cakes with 1 poached egg each. Ladle sauce over eggs. Garnish plate with fresh boiled crawfish sauce and watercress.

To make Crawfish sauce, purge crawfish in salted water. Let set for 5 minutes. Drain water. Soak for 5 more minutes in fresh plain water; drain. Heat olive oil until very hot. Add crawfish; cook until red; remove from heat with slotted spoon. Grind in food processor only until shells crack; do not purée. Reserve. Return olive oil to heat and add onion, carrots, leek, garlic and thyme; sauté until tender. Add crawfish. Add wine, Bourbon, tomato paste, hot sauce and Worcestershire and cook until reduced by half on medium heat. Add cream; heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Pour a little mixture at a time into a fine mesh sieve. Push through until all juice is out of mixture. Remove sauce from heat. Adjust seasoning.

Yield: 6 servings

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